The Monitor

Production Process Insights

Will You Get the Alarm When it Matters Most?

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/8/19 8:00 AM
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When chemistry alarms go off in your steam power plant, how do you know if it’s just a nuisance alarm or a real chemical event?

The fact is, most of the time, you don’t. For many plant operators, too many alarms can be worse than none at all. And that confusion can cost you time and money during a real event.

Troubleshooting alarms with manual processes can take hours or even days to find the issue – costing up to $100,000 for every hour your operation is down, or millions if permanent damage occurs. Alarm-related problems cost U.S. industry more than $20 billion a year, driving many plants to reduce alarms and meet the International Society of Automation (ISA) standard of 1 alarm every 10 minutes.

The power of AI - Now in Smart Alarms

We partnered with the industry-proven Wonderware® data management system platform to develop Sentry GuardSA Smart Chemistry Alarms, the first solution of its kind to combine SWAS chemistry analyzer alarm information with an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) logic-based solution. It cuts out the back-and-forth and reduces the chance of errors from one in 10 to just one in 100,000, giving you the insight of a chemist without having to be one.

Automating chemistry logic isn’t new – but it’s never been fully realized because commercially available technologies couldn’t support it. Until now.

Wonderware is a data acquisition system that captures the history of all types of data to provide discrete alarms. This unique solution integrates data history, visualization and integration software and turns it into a rules-based, Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for your plant. 

As a well-known partner in the power industry. Wonderware has powerful features and robust data-historian capabilities that allowed Sentry to develop a unique solution that protects your plant’s greatest assets. 

how guardsa works  

GuardSA takes signals from your chemistry parameter analyzers and other inputs, historizes it and puts it thought EPRI smart alarm logic to continuously monitor your system for critical chemistry events. If an event occurs, the system sends an alarm, then displays information on its easy-to-use touchscreen user interface about what’s happening and how you can fix it. 

Now, instead of nuisance alarms, you get actionable and intelligent alarms that guide you through the nature of the problem and offer up useful advice. With GuardSA, you can quickly and easily recognize and resolve real chemistry events before they cause millions of dollars of damage.

Never miss a real alarm again. Learn more about GuardSA.


See it in action at the 2019 Wonderware Midwest User Conferences on May 21 in Pewaukee, WI, and May 23 in St. Paul, MN.




Topics: Power, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

Written by John Powalisz

Picture of John Powalisz
John Powalisz, Director of International Sales, is dedicated to sharing his technical expertise and knowledge of sampling equipment and systems in power plants, refineries, chemical and food processing facilities garnered from more than 19 years with the company. John has worked with clients worldwide to help them to comply with regulations and optimize processes by applying proper sampling hardware and techniques. While he is well-versed in all Sentry products and applications, he is particularly focused on the food and beverage and power generation markets as well as emerging market development.